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# Can't textually query/position an extruded object's location?

## Question

Kind of hard to believe I can't determine or alter the precise position, dimension and orientation an arbitrary cuboid for example.

(yes I understand this can partially be achieved by converting an object into a symbol, then only able to scale it, as opposed to defining specific dimensions)

Edited by pschlie

## Recommended Posts

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Maybe I'm misunderstanding your question. If so forgive. But you can do all this with the fields in the Object Info. For position of 2D objects, even down to the 9 control points.

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3 minutes ago, SeanOSkea said:

Maybe I'm misunderstanding your question. If so forgive. But you can do all this with the fields in the Object Info. For position of 2D objects, even down to the 9 control points.

I'm specifically referring to extruded/3D polygons for example; as upon the creation of such an object, the ability to textually review/modify its absolute position it is lost; although partially returned if then converted to a symbol, but which can only be scaled not dimensioned, and whos rotation if any remains a mystery.

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Double click on the 3D object to get to its 2D shape. All that stuff, including rotation is in the Object Info

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16 hours ago, SeanOSkea said:

Double click on the 3D object to get to its 2D shape. All that stuff, including rotation is in the Object Info

Partially; if the object is rotated about either its X or Y axis, the ability to specify its Z location (elevation) is lost, and of course only its rotation about the Z axis is able to be viewed/edited.  I suppose this is a result of the product originating as 2-1/2 D tool, and never really evolved to give the Z axis equal billing.  (i.e. having the option for a 3D object to also specify one of 3 corresponding Z axis points: min, center, max, would over analogous flexility.)

Edited by pschlie

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In a basic extrude (parallel to the Z) the elevation can be read and adjusted in the "Bot Z" filed in the Object Info.  But yes, the Bottom Z and the rotation angle are not available for an object after it is pitched or rolled about the x/y. But how often do you need to do that? You could draw a construction line along an edge of your object with a mystery rotation and use the protractor tool. (you could probably do something with working planes too) The same with the tape measure tool for elevation and then the 3D Move command could adjust the z height precisely. It only seems like it would be an issue if you are making random rotations or 3D moves to start with.

This software pisses me off in a dozen ways every day but in this area I find it pretty useful and parametrically editable long after those controls are lost in a more advanced modeling program. IMHO

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Lately I've started using the Move by Points tool in Move mode with # of Duplicates set to 0 for just this kind of thing. I can snap to a point on an object and precisely move that object in any direction by typing in the FDB or snapping to another object. That along with disabling Interactive Scaling Mode with the plain old Selection tool allows grabbing and edge or corner and snapping precisely to some other position with out risk of resizing.  Sometimes you can do some complicated 3D movement using Duplicate array as well with only one copy and "retain" turned off. This allows you to move in X/Y/Z rotate and resize all in one command. And you know you can double click the rotate tool icon in an Ortho view and bring up a command box to enter in an angle without having to snap to the object? If you do place the rotate icon on a point and run the extension line along the edge it will tell you that edge's angel relative to the Z plane too.

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I agree for most things, a 2-1/2 D model is fine; until it's not.

(I'll experiment with "move by points", thank you.)

Edited by pschlie

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Just now, pschlie said:

I agree for most things, a 2-1/2 D model is fine; until it's not.

Well please let me know what you switch too 'cause I've been looking for a better alternative for years. 😉 Anytime I flirt with others 'cause it does something better or faster I find a bunch of stuff that they are worse at.

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To expand on @SeanOSkea  “construction line “ idea:

Guide objects are very helpful, esp the 3d Locus and surfaces and edges.

3d Locus reports xyz in OIP, snaps accurately to existing geometry, can be classed for color and visibility, offers great target for snap points of Move by Points, Rotate and other operations.

Extrude of line or other shape from layer or other working plane offers great control for creation of guide plane. Drawing usually switches to Automatic mode allowing Rotate and other Basic tools to detect the plane.

The Extract tool can pull an edge or surface from current position of an object. That new surface can then be moved another position ( Eg Ctr point of an edge? Of the object? A 3d Locus) and then used as the guide plane for Rotate tool.

Guide objects can saved and classed for visibility, or created/deleted as needed. Lots of possible work flows for complex move/rotate operations.

-B

Edited by Benson Shaw
Expansion

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4 minutes ago, Benson Shaw said:

Extrude of line or other shape from layer or other working plane offers great control for creation of guide plane.

That's a great idea too.

I use the "Set Working Plane" tool in Planer face mode all the time. So much so that I've added it to my basic tools in my custom workspace. Click on a face on a weird angle and you can rotate (or whatever) about that plane. Hit the "Look at WP" button in the view bar and your back to cardinals relative to the weird angle.  Hit Numb Pad 0 twice (if you've go one) and bang--back to world axis.

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Another option is to select the object and hover over the point on the object you want to know about. Hit the TAB key (maybe twice or even three times depending on what you want to see). The data bar will show next to the cursor with all the information you are asking for.

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4 hours ago, Pat Stanford said:

Another option is to select the object and hover over the point on the object you want to know about. Hit the TAB key (maybe twice or even three times depending on what you want to see). The data bar will show next to the cursor with all the information you are asking for.

That's interesting. I sometimes use that trick in order to move the cursor into space a specific distance away from a known point but I never thought to use it as a data reading device. Its definitely giving xyz location of a point and if I'm careful I can move along an edge and get a length a la Tape measure tool (although I did get some incorrect lengths, no doubt due to operator error but Tape tool is fast easy and sure) but I'm not getting useful angle readings if the object is rotated in 2 directions.

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13 hours ago, Pat Stanford said:

Another option is to select the object and hover over the point on the object you want to know about. Hit the TAB key (maybe twice or even three times depending on what you want to see). The data bar will show next to the cursor with all the information you are asking for.

Unfortunately however, the coordinates displayed are in in world coordinates (as opposed to local coordinates, i.e. prior to an object's positioning/rotation, and don't understand the rotation information presented), and thereby is often no longer a simple mater to modify an object's X/Y/Z extent, or its rotation relative to it's original definition/reference-point, not to mention the fields aren't editable. Maybe I'm missing something but I'd guess all this information exists, and would have thought the purpose of the "Object Info" Panel would be to present it in a useful and flexible editable format; not to have to use various other methods to try to determine and modify it.

Thanks for all's tips and other insights.

Edited by pschlie

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55 minutes ago, pschlie said:

fields aren't editable

Yes they are. Just TAB till you get to the field you wan't and type a number. It will alter the size or location relative to the cardinal ords. Or used the Set Working Plane tool to snap to a rotated surface (and click on the Working plane button in the view bar) and then the data will be relative to the rotated angle (local). I'm still not clear on what you're trying to do but I'd suggest looking into the working planes and related tools a bit more. Its similar to clicking into a local mode for transform tools in other software, and even more useful as you can just pick any plane and angles and temporarily make that XYZ You can even save them for later use in the Working plane palette.

Also, don't forget the Push/pull tool. If you want to lengthen or shorten a side on a rotate object, you can simply click on a face and trombone the size in any direction relative to the the local cords of that face. Hit TAB and you can type in lengths of move relative to the face. If you want to make a 100x100x10 rotated box 20 units longer on one side, just click on a 10-unit side hit tab and type 20 and enter. Or -20 and enter to shorten the face by 20.

Sorry you're not getting the answer you're looking for but I guess I don't need to pitch/roll an object and then do it again relative to the rotated position very often. And if I do I just snap on a working plane.

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26 minutes ago, SeanOSkea said:

Yes they are. Just TAB till you get to the field you wan't and type a number. It will alter the size or location relative to the cardinal ords.

Not for me?

I just double checked, and the only fields I can select are X'/Y'/Z'/L/WPA, and when the value is edited, it generates some other reference point or sphere offset by the value; for me it does not allow the selection and thereby the modificatoin of that  X/Y/Z location, or angle that location has been rotated by?

Edited by pschlie

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@pschlie I guess you're right, tabing in moves the cursor (what I typically use it for) not the object. I guess once I know the location of an object in XYZ is just a quick Ctrl/Alt/M to move it in any direction. Or select and double click the rotate tool to rotate a specific angle from its current position.  For me that's faster than clicking into a field in the OIP anyway. Anything more complicated and I'll snap on a working plane. So I just don't need it in a one stop shop location. The only software I use that does what your asking are Maya and Blender but they lose the ability to resize parametricly as soon as an object is created. After that you only have scale.

Sorry you're still frustrated

-Sean

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4 minutes ago, SeanOSkea said:

@pschlieSorry you're still frustrated

I'm actually less frustrated, than disappointed.

(But remain hopeful that in time, ideally sooner than later, the "Object Info Pallet" may be augmented to more uniformly allow 3D parameterized object and group specification, placement, and orientation to be easily viewed and modified, as may be desired.)

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@pschlie Well disappointment is a common state for VW and me 😉  its like being a Cubs fan or waiting for England to win the world cup depending on where you're from.

My #1 wish is sort of related to this. I want hotkey-based axis locks like in Blender. Hold down X,Y or Z and you transform only in that direction. Add Shift and you transform in all but the key you are pressing. There's a toggle button to switch to local too. One can but dream.

Good luck

Edited by SeanOSkea

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13 hours ago, SeanOSkea said:

I want hotkey-based axis locks

Oh, yeah, baby. Me, too.

-B

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